Friday, February 25, 2011


Catching the Crime Wave!

That's the headline in the Jan./Feb. issue of Quill & Quire, an exciting prospect for a genre of authors working hard at finding publishers and, once they're found, promoting the books!

It goes on to say that Canadian publishers are "investing in discovering the next big thing in crime fiction". We've seen the advent of a new crime imprint this month from the respected publisher, Anansi and it's called Spiderline. Napoleon & Company has folded into Dundurn Press, which has it's own crime line and hopefully, will continue the RendezVous Crime imprint that Napoleon's Sylvia McConnell worked so hard at establishing and nurturing.

But, reading further, it looks like the big boys on the block, the Random House and HarperCollins types, are looking for the next Stieg Larsson, a book that while having a plot that is all about crime, transcends the genre barrier and bursts onto the mainstream stage.

What does this mean for the more traditional mystery writers? Those of us who plot the cosy crime, or other amateur sleuths, or police procedurals to name a few?

I'd guess it's all good. We may not land a contract with Knopf Canada but when readers get hooked on crime fiction of any sort, they probably will venture into the broader spectrum of mystery. In fact, some readers who are new to the genre, may start at the cosy end. They're now alert to the fact the crime fiction has a presence, gets reviewed and talked about so they want to be in on it.

In these days of so much uncertainty in the publishing world, this is the good news we've been hoping for. There is a "boom in crime fiction" and we're all poised to catch the crime wave. So, enjoy the ride.

By the way, the National Post ran a similar article on Fri., Feb. 18th by Mark Medley entitled "Why are so many people writing crime fiction these days?". (sorry, I was unable to post a link it's easy to find on their website). That settles's happening and right now!

So, what's your answer to Medley's question?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase


  1. Crime fiction - the payoff is bumping off anyone who has ever annoyed you. However briefly!

  2. Yes, I am looking forward to reaping my millions! But it is good news that publishers are realizing crime fiction need not be a dirty little secret hidden from the main stage.

  3. Let me know when you have your millions in hand, Barbara!